City unanimously approves $160M, 13-year deal with Pacers Monday

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Photo: Mayor Ballard speaks at press conference Monday regarding city’s deal with the Indiana Pacers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (April 14, 2014)– A $160 million deal with the Indiana Pacers was unanimously approved Monday.

The city’s Capital Improvement Board (CIB) passed the agreement with an 8-0 vote that will lock the team in for the next 13 years. The board will spend $160 million will be spent over the years on subsidy payments and improvements to Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Here are some points from the agreement:

  • $3.7 million will go straight into operating expenses and $7.1 for operating reimbursements payments.
  • Another $26.5 million will be spent on improvements to the Fieldhouse, including work on the locker rooms and concession stands.
  • $7 million will go to capital replacement items like putting in new carpet.

The deal also includes language addressing what would happen in case the team’s owner, Herb Simon, passes away. Currently, his heirs will take ownership of the team. If the Pacers’ lender “calls their current loans or those loans otherwise mature, the Pacers must try (for at least 60 days) to obtain replacement non-recourse financing.” The CIB would be able to assist the heirs in this process. If after 15 months, no such financing is obtained and a decision is made to sell the team, the “City is entitled to a Right of First Offer.”

Fans and taxpayers who spoke with FOX59 were mostly supportive of the deal.

“They bring a lot of identity to Indianapolis, just like the Colts do,” said Dan Whitehead.  “Win or lose, Indiana’s still a basketball state and we’re very proud to have them here.”

Darlene McCann agreed.

“I think it’s great” she said.  “They’ll bring more revenue than that. I think it’s great.”

A press conference was held at 10:30 a.m. ahead of the vote.

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